One thing about Bertone is that it’s been one of the most influential coach builders in automotive history. So it really sucks that with the imminent restructuring of the company, some of Bertone’s most influential concept cars from its museum collection will be offered up for auction.
But one man’s trash, so they say, is another man’s treasure. So for those that have a deep appreciation for the Italian coachbuilder and the concepts it has produced over the years, you better pencil in the RM Auctions’ event at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este.
In that auction, RM has will be consigning six concept cars from the Bertone Museum, with each car being a one-of-a-kind and a gem-of-a-car in every sense of the word.
The six Bertone concept cars that are scheduled to be up for auction includes the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal, the 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Testudo, the 1974 Lamborghini Bravo, the 1980 Lamborghini Athon and the 1978 Lancia Sibilo.
Each car is expected to be sold for anywhere between six or seven digits, making each of the six a true collector’s item.
UPDATE 05/24/11: The Bertone auction at Villa d’Este has finally come and gone and we now have the official prices on how much each of these concept prototypes were sold. Lots of surprises, really, including the Stratos ’HF Zero’, which sold for less than what we initially thought and the Lamborghini Bravo, which sold for three times as much as what was expected. Check out the price tag for each auctioned vehicle after the jump.
Check out details of each concept car after the jump.
1967 Lamborghini Marzal
Arguably the most expensive of the the six concepts is this 1967 Lamborghini Marzal, a car that holds special esteem for being the very same one that was driven by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace at the start of the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. The Marzal also came with a prototype Lamborghini engine - a 1,964 cc six-cylinder in-line engine that produced 175 bhp mated to a five-speed gearbox - that never made it on any other model. The top speed of the car was reported to be somewhere around 140 mph and while it holds esteem as one of the great Bertone concepts of all time, a production version never materialized with the Marzal instead settling for being the predecessor to the Lamborghini Espada. If you want to own this one-of-a-kind gem, you need to line up your pockets with about $1.2 million-$1.8 million. That’s how much it might take to be able to outbid everybody else.
How Much Did It Sell? €1.51 million ($2.11 million)
1980 Lamborghini Athon
The Lamborgini Athon was first unveiled at the 58th Turin Motor Show back in 1980, an unusual time for Bertone to be unveiling a new Lamborghini concept considering that the latter was in a lot of financial trouble at the time. Nevertheless, the Athon was born, taking its name from the Egyptian cult of the sun. The car was notable for its unique and evocative styling, especially considering the era that it came from. But more than the striking aesthetics, the Athon was also powered by a 2,996 cc transverse mid-mounted 90° V-8 DOHC engine that produced 260 bhp at 7,500 rpm and mated to a five-speed gearbox. The Lamborghini Athon is expected to be sold for around $213,000-$312,000.
How Much Did It Sell? €347,200 ($487,000)
1963 Chevrolet Corvair Testudo
To this day, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Testudo still ranks as one of the most influential Bertone concepts in history. The car was first introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show and became popular for its unique styling, which strongly resembled a turtle’s shell. The aesthetic theme used by Bertone manifested itself in the name of the car because, apparently, Testudo in Latin means ’turtle’. In its lifetime, the Testudo has undergone a number of restorations, yet despite that, the car still has a seminal feel to it, one that has transcended the test of both rust and time. Interested buyers of the Chevrolet Corvair Testudo will need to prepare somewhere around $710,000-$1.1 million for a chance of going home with this timeless Bertone classic.
How Much Did It Sell? €336,000 ($471,500)
1970 Lancia Stratos HF ’Zero’
The car that launched the Stratos name was first introduced at the 1970 Turin Motor Show and Bertone had everything to do with it. Officially called the Stratos HF, the car eventually took the nickname ’Zero’. With the Stratos ’Zero’, Bertone went balls to the wall in designing a prototype that transcended the limits of automotive styling. It came with a futuristic design that included a full-width row of ultra-thin headlights that made for a dramatic front view. The front headlight strip was backlit by ten 55W bulbs with the rear strip having no less than 84 tiny bulbs spread all around the perimeter of the truncated tail. In terms of overall design, the Stratos Zero was the first prototype of the Stratos production car and successful rally car, a design that we still see today in the New Stratos. Joining the Lamborghini Marzal as the most expensive of all the Bertone concepts is the Stratos Zero, which is expected to fetch an auction price of $1.2 million-$1.8 million.
How Much Did It Sell? €761,600 ($1.068 million)
1974 Lamborghini Bravo
Presented for the first time at the 1974 Turin Motor Show, the Lamborghini Bravo was intended to be a two-seater V8 engine companion to the Urraco 2+2. It had a powerful engine that featured a 3-liter transverse mid-mounted 90° V-8 DOHC engine that produced 300 bhp and mated to a five-speed gearbox. Despite all the plans for the Bravo, the car never made it into production, in large part because of the company’s financial problems of that time. Just like the Athon, the Lamborghini Bravo is estimated to have an auction price of around $213,000-$312,000.
How Much Did It Sell? €588,000 ($825,400)
1978 Lancia Sibilo
Introduced at the 1978 Turin Motor Show, the Lancia Sibilo builds on the concept of the Stratos Zero, albeit in a more stylistically extreme level. Despite being 10 cm longer than the Stratos, the Sibilo retained the layout of the mechanical and design components found on the Stratos. Of all the Bertone concepts that will be auctioned off, the Sibilo is expected to be the cheapest of the six, with an estimated price tag of somewhere between $85,000-$142,000.